A silver anniversary for Jerry Springer

21 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Jerry Springer Show’ celebrates 25 years.

As his talk show celebrates its silver anniversary on Monday, Jerry Springer knows better than to wheel a cake onstage with him. No sense tempting fate. “Know this,” said Springer, who wore a tuxedo for the show’s taping. “There’s never been a moment in the 25 years of doing our show that I ever thought that I was better than the people who appear on our stage. We had a neo-Nazi on and I kind of lost it,” Springer tells PEOPLE. “I’d lost my family in the Holocaust, so when he started talking about turning my mother into a lampshade or something, I lost it.” “I’m supposed to be able to handle all the outrageous things.

Only luckier.” It’s been a long time since the show was a sensation—and a threat to Civilization as We Know It—but it’s become a dependable daytime comedy, seen regularly by about 2 million people each day and rarely noticed by others. But that’s still an extraordinary achievement for the daytime program which started at WLWT-TV’s old Crosley Square studios at 9th and Elm Streets on Sept. 30, 1991. The days of Springer being shunned or scolded by people at cocktail parties are over, too. “We don’t hear it anymore because I’m not part of the pop culture,” he said. “It’s not shocking anymore. … This was not a good idea.’ Thankfully security got him on the ground.” Springer considers himself “very lucky” to have been assigned to host his “circus” of a show.

You can’t be a grown-up and say, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re talking about a gay person.’ The world has changed.” Springer, who says he has the same personality offstage as on, thinks he knows why his show has endured: namely, that since the dawn of civilization, people have been fascinated by the behavior of others, particularly when it’s outside of society’s norms. He had been a successful anchor on the local news on Cincinnati’s NBC affiliate station for a number of years when the company who owned the affiliate tapped him to host a new talk show. “I didn’t audition or anything. The early “Springer” show was mostly a serious Phil Donahue-style issues oriented discussion about race, equality, domestic violence, homelessness, the AIDS epidemic, etc. “We’re trying desperately to take the high road,” he told the Boston Herald. He passes no judgments, and everyone knows he’s in on the joke. “Any show that has a zany supporting cast, you have to have one person who’s the calm in the middle of the storm—and that’s him,” a media analyst says.

There was no thought that this would turn into 25 years.” Now 71, Springer lives in Sarasota, Florida, but spends his Mondays and Tuesdays filming the talk show in Connecticut and the rest of his week traveling around the country hosting the Price is Right Live! tour – and he has no plans of slowing down any time soon. “I did let the people at NBCUniversal know that I will be stopping when I’m 104. Don’t mistake his emotional speech today for a valedictory: Springer is all aboard for another year on the crazy train and for as long as he’s healthy. Upcoming episodes include ”Big Girls Bring It!” ”Sorry Sis, Your Man Is Fair Game,” and “Lesbian Stepsister Hook-Up.” (Chicago wasn’t sad when Springer left for the East Coast.) It also appeared at the beginning of an era marked by people looking to themselves for entertainment, and not always celebrities. “I can’t sit here and tell you I know why I’ve lasted 25 years,” he said. “I don’t know. And by fall of 1999, the “Jerry Springer Show” was the nation’s No. 1 daytime series, and the first talk show to beat “Oprah Winfrey” in more than a decade. (Jerr-Ree!

Jerr-Ree!) The former Cincinnati mayor, councilman and Emmy-winning news anchor started making over his image in 2005, hosting a national liberal talk radio show from Clear Channel’s WCKY-AM. Then he competed in 2006 on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” He lasted six weeks by showing the loveable, self-deprecating humor which got him elected in the 1970s to Cincinnati City Council. People aren’t watching the show because they want to see me.” Truth is, Springer’s air of benign bemusement, his light hand on the tiller, is one of the show’s secrets.

I don’t mean the subject matter but, I don’t have a different personality onstage.” Springer’s show is taped in the same theater 30 miles northeast of New York City that Maury Povich and Steve Wilkos use. Talking to the audience before the 25th anniversary episode began, he tells some of the same corny jokes they’ve probably heard from their grandfathers.

That’s why when he invited one guest’s “wife” onstage and turned his back to walk into the audience, the loud roar surprised him; he didn’t know the man said he’d married his horse. “If there’s a wedding cake, there’s no way that the wedding cake is not going to be thrown,” he said. “We’ve never ended a show with a wedding cake still in one piece. It’s much better that way.” The improbability of making it in this world — few things in television are more lucrative than a successful syndicated talk show — fueled his unexpected emotion onstage. “This is show business and there are so many talented people, and I don’t have any particular talent,” he said later. “Where is the fairness?

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